pregnancy

10 Important Sleeping Tips During Pregnancy

Sleep is a crucial part of one’s health and well-being, especially during pregnancy! According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, sleep plays a vital part in our brain function and physical health. The harm from not getting enough sleep can happen instantly, such as a car accident, or over time, such as developing chronic health issues.

Getting good, quality sleep is incredibly important during pregnancy! While it can eventually get uncomfortable to find a cozy sleep position in the late stages of pregnancy, it can be done. Getting ample sleep is important for both mom, and baby. Psychology Today notes a study done by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center that found that poor sleep and depression were both associated with increased risk for birth complications when found separately and together.

We want to help women get the best quality of sleep possible throughout their pregnancy, so we have researched and gathered 10 important sleeping tips during pregnancy. Read on to find out how to get the best sleep for both you and baby!

1. Pillows are your friend.

pillow

Pillows can be a great resource and tool to an expectant mother. Not only can they help cushion the lumbar spine when experiencing back pain, they can also help moms find a better sleep position. Sleep.org recommends experimenting sleep positions with extra pillows you already have around the house, before investing in an expensive pregnancy pillow. Many women find a great deal of relief by sliding a pillow under their growing bump, and one in between their knees when sleeping on their side.

2. Sleep on your left side.

sleep on your side

It’s no secret that it can be difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position when pregnant. The experts from the American Pregnancy Association recommend keeping “SOS” in mind when trying to get comfortable. SOS stands for sleep on side, preferably, your left side. Sleeping on your left side increases the amount of blood and nutrients the placenta and baby receive.

3. Ditch your screen.

phone in bed

Screen time makes it difficult for anyone, to fall asleep, not just pregnant women. Why? Because it keeps our brains stimulated by increasing its electrical activity, making its neurons race, and diverting your mind from reaching a tranquil place. If you are taking the time before bed to respond to work emails, compare your life to your friend’s life on Instagram, or even just to watch a video, your body will produce the stress hormone, cortisol. This makes it incredibly difficult for your body to relax and sleep.

According to an article in The Huffington Post, “Harvard Medical School scientists concur that specific wavelengths of light suppress the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin in the brain. The National Sleep Foundation in Arlington, Va surveyed 1500 randomly selected adults in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany, Britain, and Japan showing that at least two-thirds of those people who watched TV in the hour before bed didn’t get a good night’s sleep on work nights. The circadian clock, the body’s biological time keeper that is synchronized to the 24-hour day is thrown off by this interference with the light -dark cycle. This light exposure delays the melatonin that should surge forward.” Ditch any sort of screen time at least thirty minutes before bed in order to achieve better quality sleep!

4. Keep moving!

Did you know that regular exercise can help you get a good night’s sleep? Exercising when pregnant is great for both mom and baby. It is also great for sleep! According to Charlene Gamaldo, M.D., medical director of Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep at Howard County General Hospital, there is “solid evidence that exercise does, in fact, help you fall asleep more quickly and improves sleep quality.” So take yourself and baby to the gym or for a walk – it will help you get better rest!

5. Establish a bedtime routine.

sleeping

Sticking to a sleep schedule is another great way to get more sleep during pregnancy. The Mayo Clinic recommends trying to get 8 hours of sleep each night. To do this, it is helpful to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends. This helps train your body into a sleep cycle. If you have tried for more than 20 minutes to fall asleep, they suggest leaving the bedroom and reading a book, listening to calming music, and trying again soon.

6. Get adjusted.

Chiropractic care during pregnancy can be a powerful tool to help increase the quality of sleep. Many expectant mothers suffer from low back pain throughout their pregnancy, due to the added stress on the spine. A doctor of chiropractic can help relieve this stress through specific spinal adjustments. These adjustments not only alleviate back pain, but they also help the entire body relax. Healthline.com even states that apart from reducing back and sciatic nerve pain, chiropractic care can make you more comfortable, control symptoms of nausea, and help you achieve better sleep throughout pregnancy.

7. Turn down the temperature.

temperature

Expectant mothers often have a slightly elevated body temperature. This often peaks in the evening, for expectant women and everyone else. When you feel too hot, it makes it difficult to fall asleep. The Sleep Council states that temperatures more than 71 degrees fahrenheit and below 53 degrees fahrenheit are likely to cause restlessness. The ideal temperature for sleep is anywhere between 60 and 65 degrees fahrenheit for adults. Children and older adults may need it slightly warmer.

8. Drink plenty of fluids during the day.

drink-water

It is very important for a pregnant woman to consume a lot of fluids during the day in order to stay hydrated and well. The National Sleep Foundation recommends drinking your fluids early on and cut back on consumption before bedtime. This can help you stay asleep longer, without the middle of the night and early morning walk to the bathroom.

9. Minimize the bedroom distractions.

Grace Pien, M.D., a sleep researcher at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Sleep and Respiratory Neurobiology, states that, “The bedroom is for sleep and sex.” She suggests removing any TVs, computers, cell phones, or anything else that has nothing to two with the two aforementioned activities. By simplifying the bedroom, your mind has less to distract it from sleep.

10. Elevate your head.

elevate-head

Heartburn is a common complaint of many women throughout pregnancy, especially in the evening. In order to combat this, The Mayo Clinic recommends elevating the head of your bed. This can help prevent, or decrease, heartburn and snoring!

 

Chiropractic Care and Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time of amazing physical and emotional changes for a woman. Chiropractic care offers a safe, natural, and effective way to help women and their bodies accommodate the miracle of life within. Read on to learn more about the bodily changes during pregnancy, and how chiropractic care can help!

Bodily Changes During Pregnancy

It’s no secret that a pregnant woman’s body goes through incredible changes throughout pregnancy. Some changes are noticeable, like the growing belly. Others are far more subtle. The process of pregnancy and childbirth is a miracle! All of the changes that occur in the body take place in order to prepare the body for labor, and to help the sweet baby develop.

Respiratory System Changes

A woman’s respiratory system changes throughout pregnancy to help the growing baby. Her respiratory rate will increase in order to compensate for the increase in oxygen consumption. This increased need for oxygen helps supply the demands for the uterus, placenta, and fetus. It is also what causes some pregnancy women to feel out of breath.

Cardiovascular System Changes

A woman’s cardiovascular system also changes throughout pregnancy. Blood volume increases. More blood vessels grow. Pressure from the growing uterus on large veins makes blood slow in its return to the heart. The resting heart rate is also elevated.

Gastrointestinal System Changes

As the uterus grows, it forces other organs to move. The stomach, intestines, and other surrounding organs shift positions. This often creates reflux, heartburn, and even constipation.

Endocrine System Changes

It is common knowledge that there are major hormone changes during pregnancy. The endocrine system is what is in charge of the body’s hormones! Throughout pregnancy, many changes in this system take place.

The placenta creates a large amount of estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy. Pregnant women also may feel warmer due to increased hormones and basal metabolic rate. Near the end of pregnancy, oxytocin is produced by the body to start labor.

Abdomen Changes

During the second trimester, the woman’s abdomen expands. By the end of the second trimester, the top of the uterus is near the rib cage. Throughout pregnancy, a woman’s abdomen may ache. This is often due to the stretching of ligaments and abdominal wall.

Changes in Body Weight

On average, a woman typically gains between 25-35 pounds throughout pregnancy. This weight is generally contributed to:

  • Fetus and Support Tissues and Fluids
    • Baby 6-8 pounds
    • Placenta 1-2 pounds
    • Uterus 1-2 pounds
    • Amniotic Fluid 2-3 pounds
  • Maternal Fluids and Storage
    • Breast 1-2 pounds
    • Blood 3-4 pounds
    • Protein and Fat 8-10 pounds
    • Body Fluids 3-4 pounds

5 Benefits of Chiropractic During Pregnancy

#1 Chiropractic Keeps the Spine in Alignment

Pregnancy and its changes put added stress on a woman’s body. Some of this stress is due to the increased weight put on in a short amount of time. This weight gain is important for helping to sustain human life! However, it places pressure on the spine, often pulling it out of alignment.

When the spine is out of alignment, significant pain can occur. The spine houses the body’s nervous system. The nervous system controls every single function in the body. A misaligned spine not only causes pain, it interferes with the body’s ability to function as it should.

Chiropractic care throughout pregnancy helps keep the spine in alignment. This helps the the body to function optimally. It also helps prevent pain for the expectant mother. Chiropractic helps the mother be better prepared and able to support the additional weight.

#2 Chiropractic Reduces Need for Pain Relievers

With the miracle of life, comes potential aches and pains as the body changes and the baby grows. Chiropractic offers pregnant women a safe, natural, and effective way to treat these aches and pains.

Through chiropractic adjustments, Dr. Dee at Healing Hands Chiropractic can identify the underlying cause of the pain. By treating the pain at its source, there is no need for over the counter or prescription pain relievers! Chiropractic care will identify the source of the pain, and correct it, naturally.

#3 Chiropractic Strengthens and Repairs Joints

Pregnancy causes a lot of changes and shifts in a woman’s joints. Chiropractic care for expectant women helps minimize the effects that the bodily changes can have on a woman’s joints.

Often, pregnant women report pain in the hips, legs, ankles, and back. Dr. Dee can identify the source of these aches and pains. By performing necessary adjustments, Dr. Dee can help strengthen the pregnant woman’s body and repair joints. This will help her have a healthier and happier pregnancy!

#4 Chiropractic Helps Achieve Pelvis Alignment

Having a properly aligned pelvis plays a huge role in an easy birth! In fact, it greatly increases the chances of being able to give birth naturally. The American Pregnancy Association states, “When the pelvis is misaligned it may reduce the amount of room available for the developing baby. This restriction is called intrauterine constraint. A misaligned pelvis may also make it difficult for the baby to get into the best possible position for delivery. This can affect the mother’s ability to have a natural, non-invasive birth.”

Dr. Dee at Healing Hands Chiropractic can help align the pelvis before delivery. This will help both mom and baby have less interventions during delivery.

#5 Chiropractic Increases the Body’s Ability to Recover

The healthier and stronger a woman is throughout pregnancy, the easier it is for her body to recover after birth. Chiropractic can help women stay active and healthy throughout their pregnancy. This makes the recovery time post childbirth shorter.

Chiropractic care helps reduce pain and increase the overall health of pregnant women. This leads to a stronger body, and shorter recovery times. Ultimately, this allows the new mother to focus on the amazing life she just brought into the world!

Healing Hands Chiropractic Can Help

If you are pregnant and interested in the amazing benefits of chiropractic for both you and baby, call Healing Hands Chiropractic today! Dr. Dee and her amazing staff would love to help. Reach us via phone at 615.203.3505. You may also contact us online here. We look forward to hearing from you!